9 Places to Get Naked Outdoors on National Nude Day from Outside Svati Narula

The first time I went to a clothing-optional hot spring in Colorado, I was shocked. It was afternoon on a super-sunny spring day, and strangers sitting in the pool around me were talking about politics. While naked. I couldn’t believe how comfortable all the nude soakers seemed, or that I was one of very few opting to stay covered.

That place, Valley View Hot Springs on the Orient Land Trust in Colorado, quickly became a place of lore among my friend group. It was a get-comfortable-quick scheme if I’ve ever experienced one. There was no deep end to hide in—just broad daylight and bare bums. I stayed in a hostel-style bunk room on the property, and distinctly remember the sight of one of my fellow bunkers—the man sleeping below me—walking around the kitchen and living room with his bathrobe hanging wide open.

You could call it weird, sure, and I definitely found it awkward, but that was as weird as it got. Everyone was operating within their own comfort zone, and no one encroached on anyone else’s. I learned from this: There are few more rewarding accomplishments than being so comfortable in your own skin that you are not bothered at all by who sees it, let alone what they think of it.

Years later, I started traveling abroad for work and was frequently plunged into different sets of cultural norms around nudity. In the United States, I was typically shy in locker rooms, often opting for restroom stalls over communal changing areas. But on a co-ed ski weekend with friends in Sweden, I found it surprisingly commonplace to walk around the cabin in one’s underwear. In Iceland, I saw men and women shamelessly changing into and out of bathing suits in open air next to a naturally hot river.

On a business trip to Hokkaido, Japan, I ran into other women in my group at the hotel onsen—a hot spring or mineral bath in Japan—where full nudity was so essential to the experience that you should not even consider asking to leave your bathing suit on. And in Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, I have come across many a botched English translation sternly warning sauna-goers of the rules: No ‘bath textiles’ allowed.

These experiences underscored for me how arbitrary body shame is, and how nudity is only sexualized and inappropriate if we make it so. Of course, I’m not advocating for you to show up to your office naked on Monday—context matters. But what better place to get comfortable with your own natural body than, well, nature?

Whether you’re a full-fledged nudist or just wanting to bare a few toes, National Nude Day is this Friday, June 14. Consider venturing to one of these nude-friendly destinations.

Valley View Hot Springs, Colorado

Valley View Hot Springs in Colorado (Photo: Orient Land Trust)

Valley View is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets. Its website does not do it justice, so don’t bother looking at the photos; just book and turn up. The whole site is clothing-optional, and offers a range of affordable cabins, private rooms, bunk beds, and camping sites. The site offers a sauna and a few built-up soaking and swimming pools, some of which are artificially heated so they’re piping hot, as well as a handful of natural pools you can hike to. The area is isolated and well-protected from light pollution, so you can soak under the stars when you stay overnight. Make a road trip out of it by stopping at Great Sand Dunes National Park on your way out or back. We definitely recommend clothes for that, though.

Dyer Woods Nudist Campground, Foster, Rhode Island

A bathhouse and rental unit at the Dyer Woods Nudist Campground in Foster, Rhode Island (Photo: Dyer Woods Nudist Campground)

In the western half of Rhode Island, the North South Trail runs from the Connecticut border to the ocean. Dispersed camping isn’t allowed on the 75-mile trail—the Ocean State doesn’t have much wild open space—but the Dyer Woods Nudist Campground is conveniently located right off the path. All common areas here are strictly clothing-free zones, so go on: have a barbecue in the buff.

Lake Michigan, Michigan

The coastline of Lake Michigan from Cave Point in Wisconsin (Photo: Getty/Douglas Rissing)

It’s a Great Lake—of course there’s space for sly skinny dipping. But the Naked Adventure Club of Detroit didn’t stop at just one—they recently organized a road trip to skinny dip in all five Great Lakes in 24 hours. Check out their Meetup group for upcoming adventures (or just some inspiration), or look for a similar club near you. The American Association for Nude Recreation lists dozens of local and regional groups where you can find some company for adventures au natural. These include: The Southwest Nude Runners Travel Club, Black Naturists Association, and the North Texas Christian Naturists.

Sauvie Island Nude Beach, Portland, Oregon

A sandy beach on Sauvie Island in Portland, Oregon (Photo: Getty/EyeWolf)

Ten miles northwest of Portland, Oregon, you’ll find one of the largest river islands in the country. Sauvie Island, sandwiched between the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, is roughly the size of Manhattan. Its mile-long Collins Beach has been a nudist hotspot since at least the 1970s. Collins is almost completely surrounded by a fish and game reserve, offering it a fair bit of privacy, but take care to know where you are and abide by the rules. Neighboring property owners have complained in the past about nude beachgoers traipsing a little close for comfort, according to the island’s visitor page. Make a whole day out of it by exploring Sturgeon, Steelman, and Mud Lakes, which are popular spots for kayaking.

Parksland Retreat, Alabama

Parksland Retreat was named the No. 1 Hipcamp site in Alabama last year. (Photo: Hipcamp)

Escape to the forests of Talladega, Alabama, for a clothing-optional oasis with just about every outdoor activity you can imagine. At Parksland Retreat, you can fish, paddle, rock climb, swim, cook over an open fire, and take a short hike to the Blue Hole Waterfall. Parksland stretches across 40 acres of land in the Talladega National Forest, and has accommodations for every style: tent pitches, yurts, and cabins. It’s no surprise it was named the No. 1[[number one]] Hipcamp site in Alabama last year.

Lupin Lodge, Santa Clara, California

Lupin Lodge offers more than a dozen options for nude recreation. (Photo: Hipcamp)

One quick look at the offerings of Lupin Lodge in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains is enough to signal there’s something fascinating going on here. The hosts of this compound of yurts and canvas tent sites say the property is a private nature park, destination resort, and a “recreational/athletic/fitness/social club.” It’s also an art gallery, a massage school, a campground, and a “spontaneous retreat.” Reviews are massively positive, with nudist-curious (and perhaps even nudist-skeptical) guests praising the lodge as a relaxing, freeing, and welcoming introduction into clothing-optional spaces. Come for a visit and you’ll be treated to 110 acres of mountain biking, Redwood hikes, swimming, and wildlife watching.

Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe, New Mexico

A private soaking pool at Ten Thousand Waves in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Photo: Ten Thousand Waves)

Curious about onsens, but can’t make it to Japan? Check out Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe, which is known for its Southwestern-Japanese fusion of hot springs. Once you arrive on site, you can put on a traditional Japanese yukata—a casual kimono—and wear it around the entire property throughout your visit, including to dinner. Bathing suits are required in some soaking pools, but all private soaking areas are clothing-optional.

Seattle, Washington

Painted cyclists at the Fremont Solstice Parade (Photo: Flickr/Lambert Rellosa)

For years, the Painted Cyclists have added a bold and colorful flair to Seattle’s Fremont Solstice Parade. This year, the clothing-optional crew will ride through the city on June 22. So grab your bike, paint your body—or stay tuned for details on joining the pre-parade paint party—and hit the road. (But please wear a helmet.)


You can swim like a moose, but don’t swim with a moose. (Photo: Getty/Jose Azel)

Yes, that’s right. All of it. Maine may have Puritanical roots, but in many ways it’s just as live-free-or-die as its next-door neighbor. Maine state law prohibits only the bad kind of nudity—defined as “knowingly” exposing one’s genitalia “under circumstances that in fact are likely to cause affront or alarm.” So, be cool about it, stay discreet, and go trail run wild. Not sure where to start? Maybe try this 40-acre private island, which costs just $140 per night and still has some availability for the summer solstice. There are a few catches, depending on how luxurious you like your wilderness-adjacent experiences to be—there are “mosquitoes galore” in the summertime. So, even if you do plan to go au natural, you might still want to consider investing in some serious bug repellent technology. Or at least get a head net.

Kassondra is an outdoor travel journalist from Rhode Island whose experiences with nude saunas abroad quite literally changed her life. She now lives in London, where nudity is just as frowned upon as it is back home. She has installed a clothing-optional sauna tent in her backyard. Thankfully, she has only accidentally gotten locked outside once.

The author on the trail (Photo: Courtesy Kassondra Kloos)

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